It is the right for every child to live within a family, to have a home, caring parents and love. Although we are in the 21 century, we still live the same story of the Manger that existed long ago - the story of the first child left alone on the road to face a mysterious destiny.
Going back in memory to 100 years ago and even before, in 1884, when the Daughters of Charity/Saint Vincent came to Bethlehem on a mission of caring for the sick and a hospital was founded in the Bethlehem Area for this reason. The Hospital implemented General Medical services and received sick people from all over the West Bank. In 1985 the hospital had a deficit in the budget and was closed. In the year 1989 the hospital specialized its services to become a maternity hospital in cooperation with the Daughters of Charity and the Order of Saint John of Malta.
The mission of the Daughters of Charity was expanded due to a greater humanitarian need when the Daughters started to find babies left on their doorstep.
In the year 1905, an Orphanage for abandoned children was founded and is called THE CRECHE. The place became a home for these children and a shelter for mothers in crisis and it is called HOLY FAMILY CHILDREN’S HOME.
As we all know, the values, social norms, religion and tradition in the Arab world prohibit any relation between man and women out side of marriage, and the punishment of women who act against these norms is death to save the honor of the family.
As a result of this fact women who managed to conceal their pregnancy had to abandon the child, many other women lost their lives while trying to get rid of the baby, others were not lucky enough to conceal it and they were killed with their infants by their families.
Many children are born with malformations and retardations because of the lack of good prenatal care and poor conditions surrounding the deliveries.
Our mission is to fight for the right to life of children, to guarantee a safe shelter and safe delivery for the babies and mothers.
As a result of the increasing social problems, the Home expanded its services to receive children who live in crises, children from broken families, divorced parents, drug addicts, etc.
The children have a boarding section well arranged to meet the needs of lives. The home is divided into rooms according to their age group.
The Crèche is an address for children who live in danger, who are victims of domestic violence and violence in general.
The age of the target group in the Holy Family Children’s Home is from 0- 6 years.
The children are welcomed into our Home regardless of their religion, race or background. They are a gift from the Lord. Who can reject such a gift?
We believe that a child needs more than a shelter but a home and a loving environment to grow fruitfully. We developed a kindergarten for the children to accompany them in their developmental stages. In this service we guarantee a comprehensive nurturing environment for the child.
We believe that we cannot live apart from the society and we do not want our children to be stigmatized, so we opened our doors for other children from the local society to join the kindergarten. We gave priority to the children whose families can’t afford a kindergarten. We also accept children from families of average income. Thus we are integrated in the society and give poor children the opportunity to have the experience needed for growing up.
In the boarding section the children are divided according to their age groups. Every group has three caring persons to accompany them in its daily life, especially in the morning and afternoon.
Our aim is to give the best to our children so we employed a specialized team to work with the children in the kindergarten and in the boarding section.
The children from outside the Crèche receive lunch with our children every day from Monday until Saturday.
We have four teachers working with the children in the kindergarten, beside the supervisor and the trainer. We implement our program under the supervision of Bethlehem University Education Faculty.
A pediatrician, a child psychologist, and a social worker add their professional expertise, guiding the development of each child.
Since we are in the essential steps of building, a state, the mission is harder.
Rules and regulations to defend the rights of women and children do not exist. Even if we have some laws they are ineffective or ignored.
The number of children is increasing, and cases of abandoned children are even harsher than before. The level of violence and irresponsibility is higher in the area. Those most affected are the children and women.
All of us are aware of the need. The present situation and the future are vague and unpredictable. Violence is increasing and ignorance is one of the predominant causes of the present general situation.
It is not easy to change the face of society, where religious, traditions are the dominate factors in the live of people and in the social regulations.
Courageously we are taking our responsibility in supporting the women and children. In our mission we need solidarity and a deep sense of humanity, and understanding. We take all the responsibility and confront all the obstacles we face in the society by taking women pregnant outside wedlock and protecting them and their children from being killed. Our unique mission is not easy and many times it is risky but our belief in our mission provide us with the strength to go on in our role.